Marital strife

Discussions about negotiating relationships between faithful LDS believers and the apostates who love them. This applies in particular to mixed-faith marriages, but relations with children, parents, siblings, friends, and ward members is very welcome.
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stuck
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Marital strife

Post by stuck » Mon Apr 10, 2023 11:30 am

So my shelf began to crash in 2013 or 2014 after the Blacks and the priesthood came out. Then shortly thereafter I had kind of a spiritual experience and came back until I began to question that spiritual experience. My wife and I had some discussions and we read the horrible Michael Ashe apologetic book together contentiously. Then she didn't want to debate anymore. And she didn't feel like I gave the church a chance. We had another discussion last night and she still feels the same way. She wants me to listen to a podcast called All in from lds living and I said that I could listen to a couple of episodes. But I said I would like her to listen to some Mormon Stories episodes with our friend Mike. She feels like exmos shouldn't nitpick at the church but just move on. Anyway, I sort of feel like our marriage is at a crossroads again. If she could respect my opinion about the church and make some compromises, I think our marriage could be harmonious. However, if not I think there will always be this angry tension between us which is not healthy. It would be wonderful if the church could come clean and apologize for all of their deception so that it wouldn't threaten marriages like mine and others on this forum. Any thoughts from you fine folks?

Thanks

dogbite
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Re: Marital strife

Post by dogbite » Mon Apr 10, 2023 2:48 pm

She doesn't seem to accept that you've changed in the relationship. She has changed too of course.

I think you should start being more authentically you but with as much kindness and respect for her as you can find. Help her find what she can accept you as.

Which is no guarantee of staying together. But I don't consider recognizing incompatibilty failure.

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Linked
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Re: Marital strife

Post by Linked » Mon Apr 10, 2023 3:11 pm

It's tough stuck, in many ways I'm in a similar boat. My TBMs usually judge me silently instead of saying it to my face, but the angry tension is still seething underneath everything. Both sides are trying their best not to be the bad guy in the relationship but have major issues with the other.

I'm sorry things are heating up, I don't have any good advice unfortunately.
"I would write about life. Every person would be exactly as important as any other. All facts would also be given equal weightiness. Nothing would be left out. Let others bring order to chaos. I would bring chaos to order" - Kurt Vonnegut

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jfro18
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Re: Marital strife

Post by jfro18 » Mon Apr 10, 2023 6:27 pm

So sorry!

Like Linked I don't have any great advice since I'm in a similar situation, but definitely feel for you since I know my wife reads some of the craziest apologetics and assumes everything else is unreliable.

If nothing else hopefully you can vent here and maybe take some of the edge off, but I can't imagine that listening to any of the Mormon Stories eps I've done will suddenly change her mind if she's listening to 'All In.' I've listened to some clips of those and they're super duper TBM stuff so even the Mormon Stories eps will seem like someone taking a sledgehammer to the church. If she does agree though let me know how she responds - I did have one TBM husband who hated me at first listen to some of the eps and actually ended up leaving the church. It wasn't because of me, but it was funny how he went from hating me to watching them all as other catalysts broke through that defensive posture.

I just hope it gets better - I know a lot of us are in this kind of situation that bubbles up from time to time no matter how much we try to tip toe around it.

stuck
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Re: Marital strife

Post by stuck » Tue Apr 11, 2023 9:26 am

Thanks for your responses guys! Hey I saw a counselor today and we talked about the situation. My wife suffers a bit from anxiety and she feels that a lot of it comes from my faith transition. I believe her anxiety is keeping her from coming to terms with my non-belief. That is why she wants me to do a bit more to try. Anyway, the counselor would like to meet with her and then with us both together. Hopefully this will help. Mike I recommended listening to your episodes or reading from your website. Hopefully this will help her come to terms with my unbelief a bit at least.

stuck
Posts: 308
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Re: Marital strife

Post by stuck » Tue Apr 11, 2023 9:30 am

dogbite wrote:
Mon Apr 10, 2023 2:48 pm

I think you should start being more authentically you but with as much kindness and respect for her as you can find. Help her find what she can accept you as.
This is good dogbite. That is a great question to ask her.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Marital strife

Post by Red Ryder » Sun Apr 23, 2023 12:22 pm

Stuck, I missed this post somehow.

Here’s my advice.

Don’t make your interactions transactional.
I’ll do this …. If you do that.

It doesn’t get you anywhere other than posturing against each other from an “opposite team” perspective. Here’s how it’s been for us.

Your team is using your logical brain.
Her team is using her emotional brain.

You point out the logical evidence and deficiency.
She feels good at church. But not so good when you discuss your disbelief.

You see the historical evidence and problems.
She doesn’t know the doctrine or history.

It’s constant conflict because you’re coming at each other from opposite ends. Your okaying offense. She’s playing defense.

As much as Mike’s episodes are great, they’re not going to penetrate your wife’s spiritual force field.

I like what Dogbite said. Find a way to be open and vulnerable with her. Be very careful of your interactions and be an active listener. When you express your doubts and disaffection, her auto pilot response kicks in which is to defend her church, her beliefs, and her orthodoxy.

Which all manifests itself as ANXIETY!!!!!!!

I suggest in your conversations with her that you use a few ideas I’ll try to communicate below.

1. “I know some of these things we discuss are difficult”
2. “Give yourself permission to think about this….”
3. Reassure her that your not changing. Rather that you see things a bit differently now.”
4. Your inherent core values are the same.
5. You love her more than the church”

Now, if you must trade podcasts may I suggest this:

YOU: Listen to the all in podcast with her. It’s not so bad, there are some entertaining stories. It’s cookie cutter with a pattern of familiarity. My wife listened to a lot of these. It’s good overall from a faithful perspective.

HER: She listens to the “At Last She Said It” with you.

The ALSSI podcast is 110% women focused. It’s done extremely well with no bias. Both Cynthia and Susan are active members who speak out about their relationship with the church from a women’s perspective. This will resonate with her in so many ways that the podcast will feel save! It will feel safe and that’s what she needs.

It’s gentle, yet pointed. Safe, but effective in planting small seeds that continue to grow and expose the idea that the church has a woman problem.

https://atlastshesaidit.org/2020/04/

Start with episode 1 and go from there.

Episode 5 is amazing.
Episode 8 is amazing.
They’re all amazing.

Listen to a few episodes on your own first and you’ll see they are safe for a TBM woman. Then listen with her and discuss what she liked about the episodes and be an active listener. Create a fun safe routine while you listen.

Bake cookies
Go on a drive or hike
Do fun things together while listening.
Don’t talk about your unbelief or insert your opinions.
Just listen
Remove the transactional interaction.

Why?
Because this approach allows you to safely journey together.
“It always devolves to Pantaloons. Always.” ~ Fluffy

“I switched baristas” ~ Lady Gaga

“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” ~Rosa Luxemburg

stuck
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:48 pm

Re: Marital strife

Post by stuck » Tue Apr 25, 2023 10:29 am

Red Ryder wrote:
Sun Apr 23, 2023 12:22 pm
Stuck, I missed this post somehow.

Here’s my advice.

Don’t make your interactions transactional.
I’ll do this …. If you do that.

It doesn’t get you anywhere other than posturing against each other from an “opposite team” perspective. Here’s how it’s been for us.

Your team is using your logical brain.
Her team is using her emotional brain.

You point out the logical evidence and deficiency.
She feels good at church. But not so good when you discuss your disbelief.

You see the historical evidence and problems.
She doesn’t know the doctrine or history.

It’s constant conflict because you’re coming at each other from opposite ends. Your okaying offense. She’s playing defense.

As much as Mike’s episodes are great, they’re not going to penetrate your wife’s spiritual force field.

I like what Dogbite said. Find a way to be open and vulnerable with her. Be very careful of your interactions and be an active listener. When you express your doubts and disaffection, her auto pilot response kicks in which is to defend her church, her beliefs, and her orthodoxy.

Which all manifests itself as ANXIETY!!!!!!!

I suggest in your conversations with her that you use a few ideas I’ll try to communicate below.

1. “I know some of these things we discuss are difficult”
2. “Give yourself permission to think about this….”
3. Reassure her that your not changing. Rather that you see things a bit differently now.”
4. Your inherent core values are the same.
5. You love her more than the church”

Now, if you must trade podcasts may I suggest this:

YOU: Listen to the all in podcast with her. It’s not so bad, there are some entertaining stories. It’s cookie cutter with a pattern of familiarity. My wife listened to a lot of these. It’s good overall from a faithful perspective.

HER: She listens to the “At Last She Said It” with you.

The ALSSI podcast is 110% women focused. It’s done extremely well with no bias. Both Cynthia and Susan are active members who speak out about their relationship with the church from a women’s perspective. This will resonate with her in so many ways that the podcast will feel save! It will feel safe and that’s what she needs.

It’s gentle, yet pointed. Safe, but effective in planting small seeds that continue to grow and expose the idea that the church has a woman problem.

https://atlastshesaidit.org/2020/04/

Start with episode 1 and go from there.

Episode 5 is amazing.
Episode 8 is amazing.
They’re all amazing.

Listen to a few episodes on your own first and you’ll see they are safe for a TBM woman. Then listen with her and discuss what she liked about the episodes and be an active listener. Create a fun safe routine while you listen.

Bake cookies
Go on a drive or hike
Do fun things together while listening.
Don’t talk about your unbelief or insert your opinions.
Just listen
Remove the transactional interaction.

Why?
Because this approach allows you to safely journey together.
That's great advice, Red! I'll have to bring this up with her. She doesn't know I'm on this forum yet though, is that bad?!

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jfro18
Posts: 2076
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2018 8:41 pm

Re: Marital strife

Post by jfro18 » Wed Apr 26, 2023 6:16 am

stuck wrote:
Tue Apr 25, 2023 10:29 am
That's great advice, Red! I'll have to bring this up with her. She doesn't know I'm on this forum yet though, is that bad?!
No - I wouldn't bring up this forum tbh... it's a good place for you to have some community and if you tell your wife before she's ready for a place like this it could really backfire especially if she's reading whatever threads your involved in.

And RR is definitely right about starting with podcasts that are more gentle. I *try* to be gentle in the MS episodes, but it really isn't the best starting point unless you're already ready for it.

Just take it slow - I wish I had done so early on and my wife is still more retrenched than ever with regards to church stuff... I have no idea what might've been had I taken it slower with her, but I always wonder if she would've been more open to this stuff.

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Red Ryder
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Re: Marital strife

Post by Red Ryder » Thu Apr 27, 2023 7:31 am

Awakening from a faith slumber is highly individualized.

What snapped us out of our TBM cocoons may or may not do the same for our spouses.

After 15+ long years after my loss of faith, Sys Ryder is now almost a year into her journey. Turns out she’s an amazing butterfly still trying to find her new wings.

So be patience and start with a gentle cycle.

It’s difficult to do when it feels like you’re drinking from a fire hose. All you want to do is share your new insights.

Ironically, it feels like once I stopped caring about her church participation and dreaming of us both leaving…. That’s when she started to find her way to the rabbit hole. She gave herself permission to enter and has found her own voice.

I don’t regret the wait because it allowed me to find myself and be more grounded in my own beliefs.

If I could sum up the last 15+ years it would be this:

The “Deconstruction Phase” was easy.
The “Deprogramming Phase” has not been.

I still find myself thinking like a Mormon more often then I would like to admit.

So perhaps you need to forget about convincing her and focus on rebuilding yourself.

For fun, I asked ChatGPT how long it takes to deconstruct and deprogram. Seems like pretty good advice.
The length of time it takes to deconstruct and deprogram from a high-demand religion like the Mormons can vary greatly depending on the individual and the extent of their involvement in the religion. It can take anywhere from a few months to several years for a person to fully process their experience and overcome the effects of the religious group's teachings and practices.

Some factors that may influence the length of the deprogramming process include the person's level of commitment and involvement in the religion, the amount of time they spent in the group, the intensity of the group's beliefs and practices, the level of control exerted by the group, and the level of support they have from family and friends outside of the group.

The deprogramming process typically involves a variety of stages, including:

1. Realizing the extent of the indoctrination and control exerted by the group
2. Challenging and questioning the beliefs and practices of the group
3. Finding new sources of information and support outside of the group
4. Coping with the emotional and psychological effects of leaving the group, such as guilt, fear, and loss of identity
5. Rebuilding a sense of self and purpose outside of the group

Professional counseling or support groups can be helpful for individuals who are struggling to deprogram from a high-demand religion. It's important to note that the process can be challenging and may require patience, self-compassion, and perseverance.
“It always devolves to Pantaloons. Always.” ~ Fluffy

“I switched baristas” ~ Lady Gaga

“Those who do not move do not notice their chains.” ~Rosa Luxemburg

Gatorbait
Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 4:13 pm

Re: Marital strife

Post by Gatorbait » Thu Apr 27, 2023 9:59 am

Feeling your pain here.

Hard for many of us to believe that any logical person really believes in the church unless they know little about it. Sure, I understand how people want to feel a part of something, we all do that, mingle with those like us, hell, isn't that what NOM is all about? But really believe it in its entirety. Nope.


Counselling- I think you are on the right track there- but make sure you are not getting counseled by a Mormon because it is impossible for them to be objective- at least that's been my experience. Good luck noble mon.
"Let no man count himself righteous who permits a wrong he could avert". N.N. Riddell

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moksha
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Re: Marital strife

Post by moksha » Wed May 31, 2023 10:25 am

Image
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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